Monday, November 15, 2010

Chronological X-Men - The Phoenix Saga Part 3 Review

The Phoenix Saga!

Marvel Team-Up #69 Night of the Living God!
Marvel Team-Up #70 Whom Gods Destroy!

Well this time out we learn what’s been going on with Alex and Lorna since Eric the Red’s mind control wore off. Personally I would have liked to have seen a bit of Lorna and Alex coming out of their altered states and their decision to go to Muir Isle in order to sort things out, instead of it being the next time we see them they’re both already there. In the middle of a random walk the pair are ambushed by the Living Pharaoh’s henchmen- a battle ensues the results of it leave Alex kidnapped and Lorna thrown off of the cliff into the sea and left for dead. It turns out since the last time we saw The Living Pharaoh he’s altered his plans a bit from killing Alex in order to become the dominant half of their connection and permanently get Alex’s powers to imprisoning Alex in a device that will amplify Alex’s abilities to the point where Ahmet Abdol can access them on his own. Spider-Man gets involved when he runs into the Pharaoh’s goons at college and when he learns that they’ve kidnapped someone he follows them in an attempt to free Havok. Meanwhile Lorna crawls her way back to the research facility and tries to contact the X-Men and after being unable to reach them she calls Hank for help. The Pharaoh absorbs enough of Alex’s powers and transforms into the Living Monolith once again and Spider-Man nearly gets himself killed only to be saved by Thor. The two team up and Thor distracts the Living Monolith long enough for Spider-Man to free Alex without killing him. With the Living Monolith defeated Thor takes Alex back to Muir Isle to look for Lorna. I’m surprised this was another little mash up that I enjoyed – if this trend keeps up I might actually become a fan of these little mini crossovers.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #111 Mindgames!
Classic X-Men #17 A Taste for Vengeance!

This story spins directly out of the events of Marvel Team-Up but I’m getting ahead of myself here, first I need to start with the back up feature even though that will spoil everything. The back up story shows Jean trying to have a peaceful day out and about only to run into Mesmero, an old enemy of the X-Men. He uses his abilities on her and she’s quickly under his mind control. This I find a little odd because of the fact that Phoenix should be so much more powerful than that but oh well. He takes her back to his place and after trying to have his way with her (now he meets resistance with Phoenix) Mesmero decides to use Jean to help him take down all of the other X-Men and bring them under his power. One by one the X-Men fall and Mesmero quickly becomes bored and after seeing a picture of Kurt at his old circus he gets the idea to imprison them all within a circus and force them to perform nightly. The additional pages aren’t really needed, they just quickly recap how Hank lost touch with the X-Men and it ends with him arriving at the circus finding the new team there. Hank is soon discovered and beaten in front of Logan which sends him into a rage powerful enough to allow him to break free of Mesmero’s mind control, one by one he breaks the X-Men out of their brainwashed state and the group reforms to take on Mesmero only to find out that he has already been defeated by none other than Magneto.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #112 Magneto Triumphant!
 Classic X-Men #18 Stalking Life

Only one real ‘first’ here and that is the first appearance of Magneto’s robot assistant ‘Nanny.’ The additional pages aren’t really required, it’s just the inner thoughts of the X-Men and Magneto when they all come face to face, and the other page is just an all out brawl between Phoenix and Magneto, nothing worth spending too much time covering. One thing I do wish they would just clear up is the whole Robot Magneto thing. If Magneto has no idea who Mesmero is then who exactly built the robot and what was the point of it? Magneto is out for blood and has built a device that contains each X-Man individually and reduces them to nothing more than that of a six-month old child, just like he was. The only difference is that their bodies don’t de-age and they’re forced to live in their minds fully aware of everything that is going on around them. The back up feature is alright, but kind of boring. Jean wants some alone time to figure everything out, so naturally Logan decides that he knows what’s best for her and teams up with Kurt and Sean to ‘hunt’ Jean and force her to use her powers in a more controlled and streamlined way than she has been using them. Honestly, I didn’t like the backup feature and it suffered for not having it be written by Chris Claremont.

(The Uncanny)X-Men #113 Showdown!
 Classic X-Men #19 I, Magneto!

The X-Men are still being ‘taken care of’ by Nanny and it’s driving them mad. Logan is gong into a rage that’s only made worse by the fact that he cannot do anything about it and Ororo can’t help but think back to her childhood when she was ‘working’ under Achmed El-Gibar and we see more of how he trained her how to be a master thief, Kurt is taking this worse than anyone (odd considering Ororo’s claustrophobia) and having a bit of a mental crisis because he can’t understand why Charles hasn’t come to help them if he was honest when he said that he is constantly monitors the X-Men with his telepathic powers. Eventually Ororo breaks free and frees the rest of the team. A huge battle ensues and causes the volcano they are under to erupt. Magneto frees himself (and I assume he returns to Asteroid M) leaving the X-Men to perish in the eruption, only he doesn’t see the giant flaming bird coming out right behind him and Jean and Hank crash into the land. The strain proves too much for Jean and she passes out leaving Hank to try to carry her through the snow. The back up feature shows a time in Magneto’s life after his wife left him but before he became Magneto. He’s been working with a group of people to hunt down members of the Nazi party that were responsible for what happened to his parents when he was a child. Eventually he runs into a man who ends up working for the people Magneto has been teaming up with. Naturally this doesn’t end well with his bosses and they kill Isabelle, a woman who was Magneto’s doctor, and possibly more than that, right in front of his eyes. This sends him into a rage and Magneto kills them, once again he is left all alone. It was good, but I don’t know where it belongs at this point in the mythology. It will get easier in the future when they flesh out more of Charles and Magneto’s past, but right now it feels sort of displaced.

The Uncanny X-Men #114 Desolation
 Classic X-Men #20 Mother of the Bride

Well it took long enough but this is the first time they have used ‘The Uncanny X-Men’ as the cover title on the book. Jean and Hank find their way out of Antarctica and return to the Xavier Institute to tell Charles about the death of the other X-Men. We find out that the X-Men actually didn’t die but they managed to work together long enough to tunnel into an entrance to the Savage Land. Obviously each side of the fence thinks the other side died. It appears that Scott isn’t mourning Jean’s death enough for Ororo and she confronts him just as he starts to piece together memories of his childhood and notices just how much he looks like Corsair. We learn that Sauron survived (but we already knew that because of The Hidden Years) and has now fed off of Storm and is ready to fight the X-Men once again. The back up feature I actually liked, but honestly it didn’t fit. Storm goes on vacation and meets a woman who just lost her husband. Ororo goes to investigate and learns that the man didn’t really die but had been exposed to chemicals from his job and has become a zombie. It’s a nice little filler, but I don’t know where it is supposed to fit, there really isn’t much to say about it but I liked it.

The Uncanny X-Men #115 Visions of Death!
 Classic X-Men #21 First Love

I’ll start with the backup story simply because it takes place before the events of last issue. We see Piotr struggle with existing in the Savage Land. He manages to save a group of ‘Fall People’ but one of them dies. Piotr bonds with the other two when they don’t reject him after seeing his metal state. Piotr feels love for the first time and it’s implied that he has sex with one of, if not both of the two women he saved. Okay, I swear it doesn’t seem as creepy as it sounds like. The additional pages show Jean, Charles and Lilandra dealing with the recent ‘deaths’ of the X-Men. Jean is struggling with the fluctuating powers and how she has no one to turn to. The main story shows us that Karl Lykos and Ka-Zar are working together to take down Zaladane (her first appearance in the X-Men) and the Sun People from raising Garook the Petrified Man that Zaladane worships. We see Kirk Marston moments before Zaladane uses him as a vessel for Garokk. Scott and Logan are at odds again when Scott wants to leave the Savage Land to return to Charles and Logan wants to stay in the Savage Land and help Karl and Ka-Zar take down Zaladane. The issue ends with a massive snow storm erupting that threatens to destroy all of the Savage Land.

Marvel Team-Up #69 Night of the Living God!: A
Marvel Team-Up #70 Whom Gods Destroy!: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #111 Mindgames!: A
Classic X-Men #17 A Taste for Vengeance!: A
(The Uncanny)X-Men #112 Magneto Triumphant!: A
 Classic X-Men #18 Stalking Life: D
(The Uncanny)X-Men #113 Showdown!: A
 Classic X-Men #19 I, Magneto!: C
The Uncanny X-Men #114 Desolation: B
 Classic X-Men #20 Mother of the Bride: A

The Uncanny X-Men #115 Visions of Death!: B
 Classic X-Men #21 First Love: C

No comments:

Post a Comment